a few interesting things i am noting recently: in germany, christmas day is two days long here, official holiday is 24 afternoon-27! and all businesses will be closed for the next four days...i cant imagine that happening in the usa. we found wool bodys and socks and leggings for baby at dm, a relatively inexpensive bath/body/health shop and got really excited when we found cute wood fish and whale toys too.
baby names...the whole idea is rather overwhelming for me right now, and we need to get started...viviane and micah as still at the top (or only yet) for me.
a sad thing, i cant get vanilla extract in germany. there is vanilla sugar and vanilla powder and vanilla fragrance, but no extract. it seems based on my google questioning others have had previous difficulty with this too. i will have to remember this next time we are back!
the last few days have brought snow and beautiful distinction to every bare tree around. i love how each limb and small branch is outlined in the bright grey/white color where once was complete brown and black. so beautiful!! sometimes when there is a crooked tree you can observe which direction the snow has come from and see how the tree cradles the remaining snow clinging to its thick bark.
The last few weeks we have attended parties in Koeln for Ralfs drumming groups, Samba and Conga, and i went to practice with them tuesday night. With ear plugs, i felt like i could hear what maybe baby hears, or at least sort of, and every step i took sounded echo-y. The drumming was fun and pretty easy to catch on to. All of the people i have met are really nice, and we stayed over last friday night so ralf could drink all the gluten free beer he wanted and hang out early into the morning...wher as i get tipsy around midnight and decided "my pumpkin is going to burst i gotta go!" i find no desire to stay up late. not like i ever did really, but even more so now.
i cut off most of my hair this week, i felt finished with the shoulder length. i think i just like short hair! everyone kept asking, oh wont you be cold? no! i am so hot all the time!
Last week, we got the tests back from the labs where ralf had his blood and stool sent for finding out what might be causing the challenging rashes, migraines and heartburn. We got the results back and were pretty overwhelmed by the amount of allergic reacting things he was consuming on a regular basis...
the list is:
all gluten-wheat, spelt kamut, cous cous, wild rice, all of it...
Casein- all milk proteins-cheese, butter and types-goat, sheep and horse too
and much less but some reaction to beer yeast, almonds and mustard seed
so what can he eat? meat, veggies, most fruits, and the grains like rice , lentils, quinoa, beans, teff, buckwheat, millet ect.
so cooking...in the holidays for mo milk no eggs and no gluten is becoming a new challenge, and rather difficult at that... when we dont want to use margarine and soy in cooking...
gluten, milk, egg free christmas cookies!
and eating out is really really challenging as we found out last week. i wanted mexican food, but we found out when we started eating it had cheese in it, and made ralf feel so sick the next day and have red rashes...
today i was laughing as ralf had a hand over my belly button and it moves so much in and out. the parents here dont think i am going to make it until march, they think my belly is too big already for so much longer...which is funny to me, we will see. i dont care when it comes, i want it to be ready and say im coming mom! yoga helps so much with my lower back which acts up sometimes alot, when i walk or sit for too long. so lots of everything!opening up my hips with deep squats is also so helpful and bending over seated on the ground is also sooo good feeling!
tomorrow all of ralfs siblings and families will be here for the whole day, i think 16 people! and Dini is cooking for them all...we will see where we can help, she does so much work around here, and is so pleasant to be with!
almost forgot, we went out into the forest to find a christmas tree, because you can legally cut them down, and i was so surprised at how slim all of them were, compared to the trees you would buy. i am curious what is done to make them so full and have such sturdy needles.
love and joy!